Picture this, walking into a field of green grass covered with booths. The booths are full of colorful vegetables. Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and lovely fruits fill the boxes on the tables. Music plays in the background. Oops! My mind is going back to a scene in Santa Rosa, California. Obviously we live in Sheridan. Our growing season is different and of course we are smaller, but that market inspired me to become part of our local market.
The Sheridan Farmers Market began in 2000 and currently hosts 30 vendors selling a wide variety of products. Last year, the Sheridan Farmers Market generated $85,000 for these local producers, a valuable economic boost for the region. The market sets up every Thursday from June 20 until Sept. 19. This year will be short one Thursday to celebrate Independence Day. We are also partnering with Landon’s Greenhouse and Nursery once again this year for a Saturday festival.
The market showcases local vendors. Many of our vendors are return vendors but we always welcome new people with open arms. The market changes through the summer based on the growing season. We feature locally grown meats, vegetables, salsa, herbs, milk, cheese and baked goods. Local craft vendors bring a supply of soaps, wooden spoons, fiber products and other surprises. We even supply our customers with music and conversation.
The market would not be possible without the efforts of a dedicated committee. Clarke McClung is this year’s committee chair, with Janet Hoxie (vice chair), John Buyok and Ami Erikson helping to close streets, direct traffic and set up and tear down the market every week. Erik Rieger is running the SNAP program. All of the other committee members including; Rhonda Duncan (secretary), Eliza and Lorena Wilson and myself are local producers who sell their produce and homemade wares. Other committee members and volunteers that help re-open the streets are Jami Kessner, Robby Smith and Jim Mowery.
The committee meets year-round to discuss the details, help find sponsors and round up the many volunteers who are essential to the market’s success. Thank you to our 2019 season sponsors: First Federal Savings Bank & Trust, Luminous Brewhouse, Sheridan Media, Farmers COOP and Sunlight Federal Credit Union.
We will never be Santa Rosa. We do not want to be. We do want to supply Sheridan with local goods and products. We want to make healthy, local food available to everyone and will be accepting SNAP benefits this year. This keeps money in Sheridan instead of out of state corporations.
Looking forward to seeing you all this summer as you visit us at the Sheridan Farmers Market.
Shelly Jelly is a member of the Sheridan Farmers Market committee through Downtown Sheridan Association.